05 February 2009

New Zealand's tourism industry to rely on Australia

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A drop in the number of international tourist arrivals is predicted to hit the usually impressive tourism industry in New Zealand, reports Radio New Zealand News, despite positive news over the Christmas period.

Figures show that overseas arrivals only dropping by less than one per cent during 2007, and that during December last year, record numbers of visitors were recorded, which represented an increase of 2 per cent on the same period in 2007.

However, experts are predicting that the strong figures would not continue throughout the year as tourists wait out the economic storm and save their pennies. 

Yet, despite Tourism New Zealand expecting a drop of 10 per cent of arrivals, reports have shown that the number of young travellers from Britain and Ireland on a New Zealand working holiday visa has increased over the past year and would continue to increase as they escape the troubles of the UK recession.

Tourism operators are hoping that Australians would maintain their interest in New Zealand as their holiday destination, particularly because they do not need a New Zealand visa to visit the country, but also because they get an international holiday without the impending costs of long haul travel and get more value for money.  During 2008, a record number of Australians chose New Zealand as their holiday destination.

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